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  • Writer's pictureThe True North Handyman

How to Calculate How Much Tile is Needed

Here at True North, we get a lot of requests for tile install. And we're good with that - tile is just one of our specialties.

New tile in a bathroom, kitchen, mudroom, or front hall can make the whole room look fresh and updated. It can add immense value to a home when these areas are modern and clean. And whether you’re doing it for yourself, or to get your home ready to sell, new tiles can be a big payout for not a lot of cash output.

But before you start tiling (or reaching out to a handyman to do the job for you), it helps to know how much tile you’ll need. That way, you can do your searching first, and get the tiles you really want for a good price.

So, here’s how to calculate how much tile is needed for your job. Getting to your perfect amount can be tricky, especially is you don’t have a perfectly-squared room.

And then what about things like a shower?

You get the picture. Let’s break out the tape measure and the calculator!

How to Calculate How Much Tile is Needed

If you’re tiling a floor, you need to find the total area of the floor.

If the room is a basic square or rectangle, you just have to multiply the length of the room by the width. For example, if you’re doing a large, square laundry room it would look like this:

  • 10 ft long x 10 ft wide = 100 ft2

Ok, easy enough.

If, however, it’s not a perfect square or rectangle, and you have an L-shaped room for example, section of the squared portions, measure them as above, then add them together.

  • Section #1: 3 ft long x 5 ft wide = 15 ft2

  • Section #2: 5 ft long x 9 ft wide = 45 ft2

  • Total square feet: 15 ft2 + 45 ft2 = 60 ft2

Ok, now you know how much area you have to cover.

Next, you need to to know how many tiles you’ll need.

1. Measure your tiles, and multiply them just as you did for the room

  • For example: 6 in long x 6 in wide = 36 in2

2. Convert it to feet by dividing the total by 144.

  • 36 in2 / 144 = 0.25 its

3. Divide the total square footage of the room by the single square footage.

  • 100 ft2 / .25 ft2 = 400 tiles to cover the area of a 10x10 room.

What About a Tub or Shower Stall?

Ok, so you know how to measure the floor, but what about a shower or backsplash?

The same concept applies. Take each wall and measure it as a separate section, then add the totals together.

Don't forget about the dimensions of any small niches or ledges!

Also, we always recommend having about 20% extra, either for unforeseen damages (broken tiles) or you may need to cut tiles to fit neatly around corners. You don't want to be stuck in the middle of a tiling job needing more tile!

Whether you're laying tile by yourself or having us do the job for you, it always pays to do the math beforehand and source out tiles to be ready when your handyman shows up to complete the space. Knowing how to calculate how much tile is needed will save you from guessing and being short (or well over)! Happy measuring.

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